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Mondo Europe: Berliners given a preview of advertising in the sky

Aeroplanes write Hello Berlin in the sky in Berlin's former Tempelhof airport on March 5, 2021 - Credit: AFP via Getty Images

A new era of advertising in the air is being tested in Germany

A new era of advertising in the sky is being tested in Germany, where a squadron of planes flying in formation has written ‘Hallo Berlin’ and ‘Hallo Hamburg’ at an altitude of 3,000m above the cities.

The messages are the work of Skytexter, whose five ‘art pilots’ are connected over wif-fi and spray messages simultaneously using environmentally friendly paraffin oil.

The company’s David Schimm told Bild: “If there is no wind, the writing can be read for minutes. Each individual letter is up to 200 by 200 meters. A single message that is several kilometres long.”

The Skytexter website says it can generate names and logos of advertisers that can be “seen by hundreds of thousands of people, even millions if placed at the right events or locations.”

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A man in Bologna who tried to cheat on his true-or-false driving theory test by sewing a camera inside his anti-Covid PPE mask has been charged with aggravated fraud against the state.

Police say examiners spotted the man moving his head in a suspicious way while taking the test, and also noticed his mask had a small hole in the front. 

An inspection revealed a tiny camera sending video of the questions to the man’s accomplice, who was texting each answer to a cell phone in the examinee’s pocket, using the code of one vibration for true and one vibration for false.

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An “ugly and torn-up” painting with a starting price of 20 euros sold for 20,000 euros at an auction in Montastruc-la-Conseillère, near Toulouse.

The portrait of a cleric, painted by an unknown artist, was fought over by two online bidders – one from America and the winner from Britain.

Auctioneer Stanislas Machoïr said the painting may be destined for South America, where French amateur art in the naive style is popular, but that the bidding might also have been the subject of an internet prank.

He told The Connexion: “I’ve sold hundreds of paintings, but this one, let’s face it, is ugly and on top of that it’s damaged, and very torn up. It’s a very strange case.”

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The Danish version of a royal drama involves Queen Margrethe II’s cousin Count Ingolf advising her to stop smoking as she nears her 81st birthday.

Margrethe, who will celebrate her golden jubilee next year, is said to smoke filterless Karelia cigarettes from Greece, which contain so much tar that they are banned from sale in Denmark. 

The Queen caused controversy in 2015 when she was photographed with a cigarette in one hand and her granddaughter Princess Isabella in the other. She has said, “If I abdicate, I will stop smoking”.

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Swedes have been told to be on the lookout for stone martens after several sightings of the small but highly destructive mustelids in the southern region of Skåne.

The mammals, which can reach 60cm long and are also known as beech martens, are known for their habit of damaging cars and other machinery by biting through cables. On two occasions in 2016, stone marten attacks shut down the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. The second marten was stuffed and placed on display at the Rotterdam museum of natural history.

Swedish environmentalist Per-Arne Åhlén warned: “The life goal of a stone marten seems to be to get into a car or a building and gnaw on electrical cables. It is something that costs billions on the continent.”

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A Polish fire brigade that extinguished a blaze at a vibrator factory in the northern Polish city of Wejherowo removed a crude social media message about the incident after protests.

The Facebook post read: “Dear ladies, we are proud to announce that in connection with the upcoming (International) Women’s Day, you can be calm! Presents saved ;)”. 

It was taken down after attracting several complaints, including one that read: “Bravo. gentlemen firefighters – probably your wives will also be grateful to you”.



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A man who reported being bitten by a poisonous rattlesnake while walking through a field in Toledo, Spain turned out to have 45 snakes, most of them highly toxic or deadly, in a private zoo at his home.
Alerted by the fact that rattlesnakes are not native to Spain, the Civil Guard raided the property in Val de Santo Domingo uncovered a boa constrictor, vipers, cobras – including one king – and two green mambas among the reptiles. The 31-year-old also had 12 scorpions and a chest freezer full of mice.
The rattlesnake that bit the collector escaped but was found on a nearby motorway after being run over by a vehicle.
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A Romanian who was sitting on the terrace of a hotel in the small town of Marasesti, was killed when a wheel came off a passing truck, bounced 100 metres down the road and up several steps before hitting him.

Marcel Codreanu, 62, was pronounced dead at the scene. Police said the truck driver may be charged with culpable homicide.

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